I should be actually posting soon–I got my business cards and A Lily Among Thorns bookmarks in the mail today, Gwen and I went to see the new Robin Hood movie, and I have a fabulous signed book to give away–but in the meantime here are two things I found hilarious while reading the first twenty pages or so of Lactilla, Milkwoman of Clifton: the Life and Writings of Ann Yearsley, 1753-1806 by Mary Waldron:
1. Someone wrote a scathing critique of Hannah More’s writing under the pen name the Revd. Sir Archibald MacSarcasm, Bart. OMG GENIUS.
2. In a footnote to a passage beginning, “Johnson thought of the imagination as that power of the mind to evoke what is not ‘really’ there and consequently as a potential threat to stability and order,” Waldron cites an article entitled “Some Limits in Johnson’s Literary Criticism.” I’m not sure I can really explain why this struck me as so funny. It just…I immediately pictured the author of the article making a list of possible titles, as so:
“Dr. Johnson Was Kind of an Asshole You Guys”
“I Kind of Think Johnson’s Literary Criticism Is Crap”
“No Seriously He Thought that ‘Imagination’ Was a Threat to the Social Order”
“He Said It Worked Against Morality and Religion”
“Also Did You Hear that Thing He Said about Women Preachers Being Like a Dog Walking on its Hind Legs”
“Dr. Johnson’s Thoughts on Books: An Epic Debunking”
Hmm, better, but not quite there yet, he thinks.
“Hester Phrale Should Probably Have Poisoned His Food”
No, no! You have to sound like a professional!
“Some Limits in Johnson’s Literary Criticism”
Ah, yes, perfect.
Of course I haven’t read the article, nor do I know a thing about the author or his feelings about Johnson. But this is what I will IMAGINE using my powers of IMAGINING things which are not “REALLY” there! Take that, Dr. Johnson!
10 thoughts on “This is not the post you're looking for”
oh no! I can feel the social order coming loose already!
That sounds like a fun ride, I think! Someone should make a high-concept amusement park where all the rides are based on philosophical/psychological/sociological/political concepts.
I kind of want to point out to Dr. Johnson that he IMAGINED that as a possible consequence of…I don’t know what exactly as I haven’t read the essay, but novels, probably…but it was not REALLY there.
Kismet! I got my business cards this week too! Unlike you, however, I think I’m going to devote an entire post to the fact.
Dr. Johnson looks mad at you. Either that or indigestion.
It’s fate!!! I will probably also do a post about my business cards, because they are very pretty! But I haven’t had time to take pictures of them yet. Also I have to think carefully about the staging for my photoshoot. I am excited to see yours!
I would not want to throw down with Dr. Johnson. I think he could probably kick my ass.
Dr. J does look pretty formidable. Also maybe triple your weight.
And I forgot to say before how much I loved your discarded titles. I have been there. In college I wrote a paper whose passive-aggressive title was “Lady Chatterley’s Lover: Problems of the Phallic Reality.” When in my heart of hearts the title was “Back Away from the Mirror, Mr. Lawrence, and Pull up Your Pants.”
Lol! I once wrote a paper in college entitled “The Truth Shall Set You Free: Rousseauvian Confession and the Search for the Augustinian Model in Dostoyevsky’s Notes from Underground“. The real title? Rousseau was a Self-Satisfied Attention Whore. My professor told me I sounded too subjective and critical of Rousseau so every time I had a negative statement about Rousseau I just put “Dostoyevsky thinks that” or “In Dostoyevsky’s opinion” in front of it. It totally worked!
You know what I have encountered recently that has been awesome?
1) Photos of fancy nutmeg graters, for use in making punch:
They are like snuff boxes, but not as disgusting!
2) The part of Belinda where two dissipated women cross-dress and fight a duel over an election. (Alas, there is also substantial display of nineteenth-century racism and sexism, which is not awesome.)
A) Ooooh! My favorite is the one shaped like a nutmeg! But I also like the egg in the little fancy case. Awesome.
B) Is that the one with Harriet Freke, the Wollstonecraftian monster-woman? I didn’t know the duel was over an election!
Yes, that is the one! The proletariat is incensed by the outfits (less so by the duel) and votes in someone whose wife doesn’t cross-dress.
lol! Are you enjoying the book, then? I started it recently and found the style very distracting, but apparently a lot of women of the time were into Harriet Freke the same way I like Milady de Winter or Becky Sharp, so I’m still planning to read it eventually…